Dammann Custom instruments began in 1990 as Dammann Basses. We started out making electric basses which grew out of a design from Ralph's playing days in the 1970s. We still make and sell these basses today.
The five pieces shown here represent some of our modern work which came about when Ray Varona joined the company in 2007. Ray and Ralph designed our most popular instrument, the Five Course Mandocello. The fifth course of strings was an innovation from the first mandocello we ever made. We also feature a mandocello which has only a side port and no front sound hole. We feature pin bridges rather than the typical floating bridge of most mandocellos. Our instruments have wonderful fullness of sound and balance across the strings as well as the brightness to speak clearly in ensemble.
Over the years we have experimented with locally salvaged and harvested instrument woods. That has become a defining characteristic of our instruments. We have discovered that local walnut, cherry, locust and Osage orange make terrific instruments, comparable to any made out of the exotic instrument woods of the East Indies, South America, Africa and Australia. Harvesting our own wood gives us complete control of the sawing, seasoning and drying of our working materials.
Studio number 7